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lievers of a former time while they tell | as these claims are upheld by powerful what they did, and they may confidently organizations, whether ecclesiastical or rely on their testimony. But when political, whether oligarchical or poputhese witnesses are appealed to in sup- . lar, so long the human spirit of adherport of opinions, judgments, and inter- ence to institutions, and the equally pretations of the New Testament, we human spirit of resistance to usurpa. are under the necessity of examining tions, must be brought into collision; whether they themselves put forth such the meditations of piety, the songs of a claim; or whether they possessed the praise, and the “unity of the Spirit" spiritual qualifications which alone will be disturbed and outraged by the could entitle them to occupy so conspi war of party; and the fierceness of the cuous a place, involving so much dread conflict will be proportioned to the earnresponsibility. (Page 239.)
estness of the opponents. But suppose
it were agreed on all hands that every VII.-EFFECT OF PRIESTHOOD.
one of these notions is alike inconsistent As long as it is held that spiritual with just apprehensions of the work of functions belong of right to a separate the Divine Spirit, we should behold, not class of men, and that these functions | indeed the conquest of one party by so discharged by them are the channels another, but of both by truth. (l'age of the saving grace of God, and so long | 246.)
THE BIBLE THE BOOK FOR THE CLOSET. “ All seasons suit this sacred page,
God, the source of religious instruction This holy lamp of heavenly truth; "Twill cheer the tottering steps of age,
to the human family, and the primary And guide the erring feet of youtlı."
and Divine means of religious edification, Mrs. C. B. Wilson. | impression, holiness, and encourage. THERE is no volume, in every sense, ment to the world. so strikingly, so pre-eminently adapted In our own country, and in the preto the chamber of devotional retire sent age especially, we have, as intelliment, as the Holy Bible. The minister gent and spiritual followers of the Reof the Gospel, who is assiduous in the deemer, many admirable helps to devoculture of the best affections, as well tion; when we retire to our chambers as of the intellectual faculties—and the to indulge in meditation, to pour forth enlightened and holy believer in Christ our petitions into the bosom of our Jesus, who is anxious to live near to heavenly Father, and to cultivate the God, and to breathe much of the spirit purer, the tenderer, the loftier emotions of heaven, uniformly feel that there is of the spirit, we have numerous and no book, for divine purposes, like this. valuable volumes, composed expressly Indeed, to elevate the soul from earth for the closet, penned with beautiful and to raise its thoughts, emotions, and de touching simplicity, marked by “the sires, to Paradise-all its purity, bliss, unction from the Holy One" pervading and cloudless glory, its adaptation, to them, breathing the most devout and accomplish this end, is perfect. Every elevated temper, and which can never human production, however excellent be perused under the influence of a in itself, however contemplative, ele calm and reflective frame of mind, withvated in its tono, profoundly serious, out much enjoyment being experienced, and purely devotional, is little, is insig- and much benefit of the highest kind nificant, is not deserving of being men- being realised. Faith is increased, love oned in comparison of the Word of is warmed, humility is deepened, sub
mission to the Divine will is augmented, / When, therefore, we are perusing, in and all the graces which beautify and the chamber of retirement, the pages ennoble the Christian character are of the inspired volume, we are making invigorated, enlarged in their breadth, ourselves acquainted with the truth and heightened in intensity and power. | which has emanated from the mind and Still, these volumes, however valuable heart of God himself, we are becoming and superior in themselves, are poor conversant and familiar with the truth aids to devotion indeed-to the religion which has been revealed and proclaimed of the heart—without the Bible, or in by the Lord Jesus in so sublime, beaucomparison of the Bible. All their light
teous, and impressive a manner, -that is derived from the Word of God; all | pure, changeless, unsullied truth, which their beauty is communicated by the comes to us without any admixture, Word of God; all their glory is reflected however slight, of human ignorance, by the Word of God; all their impress folly, or infirmity. There are no earthly iveness arises from their inculcation of adhesions here. There is no sediment the great truths, the living, transform arising from connection with man, or ing principles, which are found in the from the influence of the world, here. Word of God.
There are no undesirable or injurious The first, and almost the sole, book incrustations here. Here we look into for the closet of a Christian who is the fountain of truth, whose waters are living near to God his Saviour, and who deep and pellucid and undetiled. How wishes to advance in the cultivation of important, how delightful in the chamevery humble and holy feeling, is the ber of retirement, to endeavour to pe. Scripture itself. No book has so great netrate these waters, to look into, and a charm. No book is encircled with even to make an attempt at sounding, lustre so pure and radiant. No book these depths, and thus to contemplate exerts such influence, or commands such truth at its source! .. power. No book commends itself so Do we not all feel, if Christians, that clearly and so directly to the under- | the Bible is the best book for the closet, standing, to the judgment, to the con- because it communicates the message science, to the best and warmest emo- of God to us? and, indeed, is that mestions of the heart.
sage itself, to every reader, to every inIf sound and enlightened believers in quirer, to every petitioner for the en. the Lord Jesus, we shall appreciate and joyment of Divine mercy? honour the Bible as the fountain of The message is most plain, clear, truth, the truth of God, the truth of direct, pointed, and impressive. It is heaven and immortality: that truth by conveyed to us with marked and exwhich we are instructed and guided in quisite simplicity. There is no preten. our progress towards eternity, by which
sion, no finery, no glare, no elaboratewe are fortified amidst all the tempta ness, no meretricious or unnecessary tions and perils of life, by which we are ornament,-quite the reverse. It is a purified in a world of depravity, by which chaste, an impressive, a Divine simpliwe are to be judged at last, pronounced city, which ever marks the communicaholy or impure, guilty or absolved, ac tions of Heaven to man. cording to its decisions; and, in unison! The messages of the Bible are conwith its representations, provided that l veved to us with pregnant brevity. “A we are the sincere and undeviating fol. figure dwells in a word-a powerful lowers of Christ, we are to be saved, l argument in a most casual allusion, and rescued from hell, elevated to glory, ad. so the opulence of the eternal Mind bemitted to Paradise, to dwell eternally / trays itself with an air of mingled gran. with the Lord.
deur and simplicity, an air almost of unconsciousness in thoughts which are / gested and sustained by this love, all incidental and secondary, throwing off its promises are rendered delightful flashes of momentary radiance, like and efficacious by this love. When gleams of polished armour, which derive perusing the Bible in the closet, we their tremulous glory from the temper, are making ourselves acquainted with not the hue, of the surface that reflects the announcements of Infinite Wisdom, them."
with the provisions of Infinite Love The announcements of the Bible are and mercy, that man might be parconveyed to us with deep toned solem doned, be introduced to the Divine nity, as the great and awful communica- family, realise the privileges of adoption of God to our souls, as that with tion, and, eventually, be admitted to which our happiness, security, salvation, I the celestial kingdom. our eternal all, must be considered as The Bible is "the Word of Christ :" being identified.
that which he has dictated, that which The revelations of the Bible are im- he explains to the understanding, and parted to us with exquisite tenderness. which he applies to the heart with There is all the persuasivenes-all the resistless energy, by the power of bis kindness, all the mercy of the God of Spirit. What beauty does this word love, of the Friend of sinners, of the unfold! what meaning does this word Saviour of those who believe.
convey! what lustre does this word The Bible is also communicated to shed! what consolation does this word us as a message which we must in- express! with what power is this word stantly regard. It must not be un- | clothed ! heeded. It must never be trifled with. 1 The Bible is the Book of inspired deIt demands supreme and unceasing | votion, containing a vast accumulation attention. It cannot be neglected | of celestial sentiments, comprehending without our best, our highest interests prayers the most simple, terse, approbeing perilled.
priate, fervid, and important. Prayers There is not a verse in the Bible, which every sinner can prefer, which bnt has its weig!it: all the histories, every Christian must feel and enjoy. all the prophecies, all the devotional Prayers which are ever fresh and beaupassages, so rich and beautiful; all the tiful, powerful and most efficacious. biographies, all the examples, all the Thus the Bible, by all its precepts, all terse moral maxims, all the noble its admonitions, all its appeals, as well Christian precepts, all the wise and in as by all its prayers, is enkindling, imitable directions, demand, and will quickening, and elevating, every devout amply repay, our fixed contemplation and holy emotion. and regard. For the Bible, be it always This is the first Book we should use remembered, is not a theoretical, specu in the closet, and the last we should lative system: it is a system embodied, consult; on its truths we should personified, exhibited, softened down, meditate, over its hallowed pages we moulded to actual life and experience. I should linger; one part we should com
The Bible is the revelation of Divine pare with another, and seek to gain love and mercy to man, to our debased, instruction, incitement, encouragement, miserable, and otherwise ruined world :) and admonition, from all. unfolding all that is sublime and It will, if properly consulted, with a gracious, in connection with the plan humble and devout mind, and with and mysterious procedure of redemp- a large heart, always enlighten and tion; all its doctrines proclaim this love, direct, always sustain and console, alall its invitations are prompted by this ways purify and bless; and the more love, all its encouragements are sug. , we peruse it, the more we value, and
admire, and love it, the more highly | your character, beautify your profession, will every devotional exercise be prized, and sanctify your lives. and the greater, consequently, will be Parents! peruse the Word of God in the presence of Christ, and the happi- your retired chambers : become familiar ness of real religion, enjoyed in its with the doctrines and ennobling prinobservance.
ciples of the New Testament, and, We ardently wish that the Bible when meeting with your families, inwere more frequently consulted in structing and admonishing your beretirement. No habit would so expand loved offspring, you will be baptized the mind, correct the views, ennoble | into its spirit, and there will be “an the faculties, purify the passions, in | unction from the Holy One" descendfluence with Divine power, the entire | ing and resting upon you. soul.
Inquirers after the Saviour, accustom We wish the Bible were more de | yourselves to peruse, with simple and voutly consulted in retirement, with entire reliance on Divine agency, the more of the spirit of faith, humility, Psalms, theGospels, and Paul's Epistles, and love; with more of the temper especially, and sure we are, with humof heaven. It would produce effects ble, docile, confiding minds, you will on the character and conduct not only be led into the right way; and you, obvious and most advantageous, but young people,-in whom our hopes even inestimable.
centre, and for whose happiness and We wish the Bible were examined by salvation we are so solicitous,-never itself in retirement, without any sup forget to read the Bible daily, with the plementary or auxiliary aid, without utmost care, and to offer fervid prayer any foreign help, which often encum before and after examiniug its sacred bers and impedes, without any feeble contents. Ere you retire to rest, and assistance which man can lend.
previously to commencing the engageThere is nothing like examining the ments of the day, form this habit: you Bible alone with God, and without any will find it to be inestimable. The intervening medium, without anything Bible will mould your character, will to darken, dilute, obscure.
prepare you for life, will fortify you in We wish the taste of the age were temptation, will fit you for usefulness more of this character. We often al- in the church, will be your directory to most regret that we have so many helps Canaan, and will constitute, by the for the closet, admirable though num-/ truths and promises which you have bers of them are, because we fear that been enabled to appreciate and enjoy, the Book of God will, in many in the foundation of your tranquillity and stances, be comparatively neglected and happiness in the article of death. undervalued.
The value of the Bible in retirement, Ministers of the Gospel! study this we would observe, in conclusion, is Book of books devotionally, and it will especially realised by the poor and ever feed and enrich your minds, pre- || tried disciples of Christ. It is their pare you for the composition and light in darkness, their joy in sorrow, moulding of all your sermons, and for their solace in the hour of sickness, their the effective observance of all your staff in the valley and shadow of death. hallowed exercises.
The Bible to them is everythingMembers of Christian churches ! ex. | their food, their medicine, their friend, amnine this sacred volume more closely, their sympathiser, their guide. The more frequently than ever, under the Bible is emphatically the poor Chrisinfluence of the spirit of believing tian's Book, pondered by him conprayer, and it will materially elevate tinually in retirement. It is his priceless treasure, amidst all his penury and He wipes away the tear from his eye. embarassments. It is the source of his He checks the sigh occasioned by the richest, purest, ever present peace and burdens and discouragements of the joy. The words of the Saviour are way. He prays for strengthening life to his soul, communicating ineffable grace, for the spiritual and ceaseless tranquillity to his spirit. He is consolations of the Redeemer, and his harassed from day to day, he is jaded, language is, “Having food and raiment, exhausted, by one trial and another, I will be therewith content," and, when weary of the world; poverty, suffering, | experiencing peculiar trials, he concontinual vicissitude, and disappoint- | fidingly exclaims, “ My God will supply ment, form a load heavily pressing on all my need, according to his riches him, and which, frequently, he can in glory by Christ Jesus.” scarcely bear; but the Redeemer sweetly
O let me turn the sacred page, says, “ Come unto me, all ye that labour
And gain a solace for my care, and are heavy laden."
It can life's darkest ills assuage, He hears his Lord. He obeys his And calm the tortures of despair. call. He flees to him. He finds rest,
And as I feel my bosom glow, and is happy. Thus God owns the I'll own its healing truths were given word, applies it with sweetness and A foretaste of those joys above,
That will be realised in Heaven! power. He looks up, and says, “ Not
T. W. my will, O Lord, but thine be done."
YOUTHFUL READING-RICHARD BAXTER. REGARDING the books to be put into | is mentioned the perusal of a small the hands of young persons, it has been work, entitled a “Treatise touching often said how important it is that they | Resolution," which was originally be well approved. This is a remark of written by the famous Jesuit, R. Pargreat moment, and it would be well if sons, and published in England, with all the parties interested saw its full considerable alterations, by Edmund force. The sentiment and style may soBunny, and dedicated by him to the affect a young mind, that the tone and Archbishop of Canterbury. The first genuine character of that book shall be part is dated 1584, and the second 1594. transferred to the reader, and adhere to There is a remarkable similarity between him for life. If this mode of describing the style of this book and that of Baxbe objected against, we may say, it mat- | ter, in many of his practical works: and ters little, for there often is that in a | it would be interesting to trace the anbook which calls forth from the youthful | alogies in thought, sentiment, and form reader an ardent expression of desire to of expression, which so abound between be something which he has not been, or this work and several of Baxter's, parto do something which he has not done; ticularly the “ Saints' Rest," and others, powers hitherto almost inactive, and in which he dwells upon the evils of sin, positively feeble, are awakened and the torments of sinners, the glories of strengthened, new babits are formed, heaven, and the excellencies of God's and the man has been determined upon. service. An able pen might be proMany cases for evil and for good have fitably employed on this subject, and come before the writer's notice; but he show the vast importance of the remark has been particularly struck with the we set out with. example of Richard Baxter. Among the Accept the following quotatic ns from various influences which served to settle the “ Treatise touching Resolution." his mind, and determine him for Christ. Of the saint's glrry, he says, “Surely